The Depths of Inhumanity

One look at the gothic font of this California band’s logo and even some of their press photos  and one word springs to mind: Entombed (or realistically, two words if you include Nihilist). The only this missing is Dan Seagrave artwork.

Then you press play, and other words like Stockholm, Sunlight and mid-range jump into your mind as tracks with retro names like “Internal Misery”, “Morbid Derangement”, “Enthralled by Pain” and “Life Deploration” rumble with arguably the most impressive and convincing homage to the Stockholm sounds since Evocation’s Tales From the Tomb and Bloodbath’s Resurrection Through Carnage.

Not surprising since Neil Burkdoll and Wes Caley (Uphill Battle, Exhumed) started the band as a Stockholm death metal cover band called Stockholm Syndrome. But on their debut full length album, Fatalist have captured the essence of ‘that’ sound perfectly and with 11 of their own songs (7 from the awesome Loss demo and 4 new ones) and a Tomas Skogsberg/Sunlight worshiping production to die for, The Depths of Inhumanity is Stockholm death metal fan’s wet dream.

From the awesome late song trot of opener “Internal Misery”, canter of “Contamination”, romping catchiness of “Homicidal Epitaph”, moody lope towards the end of “Enthralled by Pain”, through the blatant “Dismembered” homage that starts closer “Rivers of Blood” (even more so than Evocation’s “Silence Sleep” from 2008s Dead Calm Chaos), the chord progressions, structures and moods are pure early Entombed/Nihilist, complete with scrawling, eerie melodic solos, some doomy atmospheres and a sludgy, Discharge, almost punk undercurrent.

The only tiny downside to an album that I otherwise thouroughly enjoy are the vocals, where Burkdoll’s higher register screams are more like Orvar Säfström’s (who sang on Entombed’s Crawl EP) than LG Petrov or any other deeper toned Stockholm growler. Still, though its minor quibble on an album, that despite the year’s stellar technical offerings, keeps bringing me back for a perfectly rendered trip down memory lane and one of my favorite albums of 2009.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
December 4th, 2009


  1. Commented by: vegard

    uphill battle? SOLD!

  2. Commented by: Cynicgods

    Stockholm-sound fanboy over here. Really cool homage to the greats with some nice twists of their own. Year-end list material imo. Thanks, Erik.

  3. Commented by: Neil

    Hey guys, thanks for the kind words and I’m glad you like the album. I worked really hard on it and it’s cool that people actually give a shit about it.

  4. Commented by: JHDOOM

    Awesome album, will definitely find a place on my year-end top 10 list.

  5. Commented by: Cynicgods

    Neil: Thanks for this Swedeath treasure, man. We all appreciate your hard work. Hope you guys put out many more gems like this one.

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